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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra

Folio 13a

If there is a channel on one side and a river on the other, the field is to be divided diagonally.1

A HALL etc. If they are not large enough to leave sufficient space for both after division, what is the ruling? — Rab Judah says: [One partner] has the right to say [to the other], You name a price [for my share] or let me name a price [for your share].2  R. Nahman says: He has not the right to say, You name a price or let me name a price Said Raba to R. Nahman: On your view that one has not the right to say to the other, You name a price or let me name a price, how are a first-born and another son3  to manage to whom their father has left a slave and an unclean animal? — He replied: What I say is that they work for the one one day and the other two days.

An objection was brought [against the opinion of Rab Judah from the following]: 'If one is half a slave and half free, he works for his master one day and for himself one day alternately. This is the opinion of Beth Hillel. Beth Shammai say: You have made matters right for his master but not for him. To marry a bondwoman he is not permitted;4  to marry a free woman he is not permitted.5  Shall he then remain unmarried? And has not the world been created only for propagation, as it is written, He created it not a waste, he formed it to be inhabited?6  No; what we do is to compel his master to consent to emancipate him, and we give him a bond for half his value. Beth Hillel hearing this retracted their opinion and adopted the ruling of Beth Shammai'?7  — This is not quite a case in point, because while the slave can say, 'I will name a price,' he cannot [at any time] say to the master, 'You name a price'.8  Come and hear: If there are two brothers, one rich and one poor, to whom their father leaves a bath and an olive press, if he made them for renting, then the brothers share the rental, but if he made them for his own use, then the rich brother can say to the poor one,

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. According to R. Han., we suppose the channel to be on two sides and the river on two sides, v. fig. 1. According to Rashi, however, we suppose the channel and the river to be only on each of two adjacent sides, and in order that each may have the same share both in the river and the channel, the field must be divided into eight strips, v. fig. 2.
  2. I.e., either can compel the other to sell his portion, or to buy from him, so that the whole will be in one ownership.
  3. The rule would apply equally if neither of the brothers was a first-born, (v. however Tosaf. s.v. [H]).
  4. Being an Israelite.
  5. Not being an Israelite.
  6. Isa. XLV, 18.
  7. Hag. 2a. Only because of Beth Shammai's argument, but not because they recognised any right to say, 'You name' etc.
  8. Because as an Israelite, he cannot be sold, like an ordinary slave, for more than six years.

Baba Bathra 13b

'Take slaves and let them wash you down in the bath, take olives and make oil from them in the press'?1  — There too, the poor brother can say to the other, 'You name a price,' but he cannot say, 'I will name a price.'2

Come and hear: ANYTHING WHICH IF DIVIDED WILL STILL RETAIN THE SAME NAME IS TO BE DIVIDED, AND IF NOT, A MONEY VALUE HAS TO BE ENTERED FOR IT?3  — There is a difference on this point between Tannaim, as it has been taught: If a man says [to his partner], You take the prescribed minimum [in the courtyard]4  and I will take less,5  his suggestion is adopted. Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says that his suggestion is not adopted. What are the circumstances? If we take the statement as it stands, what is the reason of Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel? Therefore we must suppose that there is a lacuna, and it should run thus: If one says, 'You take the standard space, and I will take less,' his suggestion is adopted. If he says, 'You name a price or I will name a price,' his suggestion is also adopted. And in regard to this Rabban Simeon remarks that his suggestion is not adopted. This, however, is not so. The statement is to be taken as it stands, and as to your question, what reason can Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel have, it is because he can say to him [the one who offers to take less], 'If you want me to pay for the extra, I have no money, and if you want to make me a present, I prefer not,6  since it is written, He that hateth gifts shall live.'7

Abaye said to R. Joseph: This opinion of Rab Judah8  really comes from Samuel, as we have learnt: SCROLLS OF THE SCRIPTURE MAY NOT BE DIVIDED EVEN IF BOTH AGREE, and on this Samuel remarked: This rule was only meant to apply if the whole is in one scroll, but if it is in two scrolls they may divide. Now if you maintain that a man has no right to say, 'You name a price or I will name a price,' why should the rule apply only to one scroll? Why not to two scrolls also?9  — R. Shalman explained that Samuel referred to the case where both consent.10

Amemar said: The law is that a partner has the right to say, 'You name a price or let me name a price.' Said R. Ashi to Amemar: What do you make of the statement of R. Nahman?11  — He replied: I don't know of it; meaning, I don't hold with it. How could he say this, seeing that Raba b. Hinnena and R. Dimi b. Hinnena were left by their father two bond-women, one of whom knew how to bake and cook and the other to spin and weave, and they came before Raba12  and he said to them: A partner has no right to say, 'You name a price or let me name a price?' — The case is different there because each of them wanted both the women. So when one said, 'You take one and I will take one', this was not the same as, 'You name a price or let me name a price.'13  But what of a copy of the Scriptures in two scrolls, where both are required14  and yet Samuel said: The rule that they must not be divided applies only where there is one scroll, but if there are two, they may be divided? — This has been explained by R. Shalman to refer to the case where both consent.15

Our Rabbis taught: It is permissible to fasten the Torah,16  the prophets, and the Hagiographa together. This is the opinion of R. Meir. R. Judah, however, says that the Torah, the prophets, and the Hagiographa should each be in a separate scroll; while the Sages say that each book should be separate. Rab Judah said: it is related that Boethus b. Zonin had the eight prophets17  fastened together at the suggestion of R. Eleazar b. Azariah. Others, however, report that he had them each one separate. Rabbi said: On one occasion a copy of the Torah, the prophets, and the Hagiographa all bound up together was brought before us, and we declared them fit and proper.

Between each book of the Torah there should be left a space of four lines, and so between one Prophet and the next. In the twelve Minor Prophets, however, the space should only be three lines.18  If, however, the scribe finishes one book at the bottom [of a column], he should commence the next at the top [of the next].19  Our Rabbis taught: If a man desires to fasten the Torah, the Prophets and the Hagiographa together, he may do so. At the beginning he should leave an empty space sufficient for winding round the cylinder, and at the end an empty space sufficient for winding round the whole circumference [of the scroll].20  If he finishes a section at the bottom [of one column], he commences the next at the top [of the next],

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Infra 172a.
  2. Because he himself has no money with which he might pay it. Hence this too is no proof that one partner has no right to say to the other, 'You name' etc.
  3. And an equivalent has to be allowed by the one who obtains it. Hence a partner has the right to say, 'You name' etc.
  4. I.e., four cub its.
  5. Supposing the courtyard is too small to allow four cubits to each.
  6. But R. Simeon may still agree that he can say. 'You name a price etc.'
  7. Prov. XV, 27.
  8. That one has a right to say, 'You name a price etc.'
  9. Presumably the two scrolls are not equal in value, and if so how can one force the other to divide unless he can say to him, 'You name a price (for the extra value) or let me name it.'
  10. I.e., the words of the Mishnah, 'even though both agree' refer to the case where there is only one scroll, not where there are two.
  11. Who said there is no such right.
  12. To decide whether one could force the other to divide them, the one who received the more valuable one giving compensation.
  13. Which properly means, 'You buy my portion from me or let me buy yours from you.'
  14. One being deficient without the other.
  15. Which shows that the principle, 'You name' etc., extends even to such cases.
  16. The Pentateuch.
  17. According to the Rabbinical classification, these are Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the twelve Minor Prophets.
  18. Since all these only form one book.
  19. And there is no need to leave a space of four lines.
  20. When it is rolled up.